Can Heart Rate Training Help Increase Your Endurance?
Want to increase your physical endurance but not sure how? Endurance strengthens your cardiovascular system. It helps you gain energy, lose weight, and even improve mindset and mental function. If you want to improve your fitness endurance, heart rate training may be the answer.
What Is Heart Rate Training?
Heart rate training is a system where you utilize your heart rate to determine your intensity or effort level. For example, your heart rate while you sit on the couch may be quite low. It’s called a resting heart rate. Yet if you got up off of the couch and sprinted for a mile, your heart may be hammering in your chest. Your effort is different and your heart is required to work harder.
Heart rate training helps you find the optimal heart rate for your workouts. You work your cardiovascular system without pushing your body into an anaerobic fitness level.
Do I Need a Heart Rate Monitor?
Heart rate training is easier with a heart rate monitor. A heart rate monitor is a two-part device. The first part straps around your chest. It measures the beats of your heart. The second piece is a wrist watch. It receives the signal from your chest strap and displays the information.
With the most basic heart rate monitor you can simply look at your wrist to see if you’re working in the right heart rate zone, and at the right intensity level. More sophisticated heart rate monitors actually sound an alarm if you dip above or below your desired heart rate zone - thus helping you to stay on target to improve your endurance.
You can use heart rate training without a monitor. You simply need to learn how to take your pulse while you’re exercising. Place your fingers on your carotid artery in your neck, count the beats per minute and that’s your heart rate. It’s easier to calculate your resting heart rate this way. When you’re jogging down the block or on your bike it’s a bit more difficult. This is why many people simply rely on heart rate monitors.
So What’s the Right Heart Rate Zone for Endurance Training?
The goal of endurance training is to increase your distance and time exercising. For example, you might work from a daily three-mile run to increase your distance to ten miles. However, instead of running at your high intense 5K pace, you’d reduce your intensity and run slower.
Your target heart rate depends on your age. The most basic calculation is to take 220 and subtract your age. For example, if you’re 40 years old then your target heart rate would be 180. A moderate intensity level would be approximately 70-85% of that, or 126 to 153. Stay within that range and you should be able run longer.
Can heart rate training help you increase your endurance? The answer is yes, it can. If you’re new to heart rate and endurance training, start slowly. A heart rate monitor can be an invaluable tool to helping you stay on track and improve your endurance.
Learn more in here about our lifetime fitness exercise guide
Warren Tattersall has been a nutritional consultant for over 20 years and has a personal interest in weight lifting toward reaching competition level.
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